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Human Population Destroys The Environment: Any Questions?

2085 words - 8 pages

Joel E. Cohen once stated in his How Many People Can the Earth Support?, “A little boy wanted to know the sum of one plus one. First he asked a physicist, who said, “If one is matter, and the other is antimatter, then the answer is zero. But if one is a critical mass of uranium and the other is a critical mass of uranium, then that's an explosive question.” Unenlightened, the little boy asked a biologist. She said, “Are we talking bacteria, mice or whales? And for how long?” In desperation, the boy hired an accountant. The accountant peered closely at the little boy and said, “Hmmm. One plus one? Tell me, little boy, how much do you want one plus one to be?” (Cohen 261) Every living thing on planet Earth requires a certain amount of resources to survive. In the anecdote by Cohen, the accountant tells the boy that he is able to choose the sum of one plus one which accounts in this case to the limits that humans have on the resources. One plus one in this case is also the ratio of the specific supply of each resource per human being which cannot be accounted for. Humans have the potential to act for themselves in knowing how to balance out their needs. Every person on planet Earth needs space and resources to survive but as the population grows, the natural resources begin to decrease due to their ever-growing demands. As time goes by, these natural resources undergo increasing pressure, threatening public health and development. As the human population expands, its effects on the environment will multiply, such as the depleting of Earth’s natural resources, biodiversity, and the slowing dynamic economy, and therefore the citizens of Earth must help in the recreation of the planet. As the world’s population grows, improving living standards without destroying the environment will become an increasing global challenge.
One of the biggest concerns with overpopulation is the pollution of fresh water supply and air pollution. Humans, along with any other living life form, need water and air to survive. “Water and air, the two essential fluids on which all life depends, have become global garbage cans,” said Jacques Cousteau. ("Effects of Overpopulation: Water and Air Pollution") Fresh water and air supplies have recently become “garbage cans” as Cousteau explained in that people throw waste into rivers and lakes which are fresh water and carbon dioxide along with other pollutants that are harming our air supply. ("Effects of Overpopulation: Water and Air Pollution") For example, people in China throw their garbage in nearby rivers because the rivers are not used for anything. In these rivers one could find anything from rotten food to dirt to chemicals. Approximately 39% of our rivers, 46% of our lakes, and 51% of our estuaries are still too polluted for safe fishing or swimming. (America’s Troubled Waters) Another example would be the use of cars. When a car is on the road it releases toxic fumes such as carbon dioxide that are harmful to the...

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